Last October, Apple quietly launched the new Airpods Pro. These are essentially the next iteration of their 2017-launched sleeper-success, Airpods — of which I’ve been using since the initial months of their launch when everyone was talking about how goofy-looking these (electric toothbrush inspired) things looked; I mean, they were kinda right, but that’s besides the point that they’re an amazing little piece of tech that solved a problem a lot of people didn’t know they had. They’ve become so popular in the past two years that I now see them pretty regularly adorning the earholes of many around even my own country town.
This new “Pro” model adds active noise cancellation, a bit of moisture resistance and a new, slightly smaller design — yes, that’s basically it — and, with the now non-pro variant going for AU $249, what can you expect to pay for these “professional” doodads?
Yep… THREE HUNDRED AND NINETY NINE AUSTRALIAN DOLLARYDOOS.
That’s a fair chunk of change to spend on something you can get an almost feature-equivalent non-Apple (though I would argue there are many things Apple just does better) version of for under $100… and, yet, I want them. Us humans are curious creatures at times, aren’t we?
Hint: It's not about the price
This is because owning them has more perceived value to me than the $399 sticker price. Sure, I can say — and I have — that the noise cancellation is going to be really useful when working at the local cafe and I need to cut out the heated discussion of last night’s MAFS episode going on at the table next to me (I can’t believe Taylor could do that to Devon), or the moisture resistance will mean I can more confidently wear them when building up a sweat during all the running I (don’t) do. And there is some merit to that post rationalisation, but it’s how having them makes me feel; progressive, connected, and — dare I say it — a little cool. And Apple knows this is. You only need to watch an ad, or see one of their billboards, and you can see it right there, clear as day: owning our products will make you feel this way.
“New or established, your brand is one of the best investments you can make in your business…”
Many of us prefer not to admit it, but we’re inarguably emotionally driven beings. Sure, we’ll come up with all sorts of explanations to post-rationalise why we chose this thing over that thing, or watched this movie instead of that other one — and they may be totally justifiable — but what’s really driving these decisions is gut instinct; that is, how we feel. By extension, that means your customers are making decisions — potentially substantial decisions that will affect your long-term success and growth — this same way.
And by extension (like it, or not — agree with it, or not) but the long-term growth and success of most all business’ boils down to how their product, service or offering makes their customers feel, and the best way to communicate that is through your marketing.
Your visual identity matters
The words, colours, fonts, imagery and tone of voice you use should illicit a gut-level response in your customers; and the goal should really be that of a lasting 'feel good' vibe. Your logo — and visual identity more broadly — is an amazingly powerful way of representing in an instant the very core of your offering to the world, and, like your marketing, it needs to ring true to you to illicit those genuine responses.
New or established, your brand is one of the best investments you can make in your business and making this investment wisely will not only net exponential returns, you’ll have more clarity and a sense of purpose around what you do and why you do it. Get that right and you’ll be connecting more deeply with those that resonate with what you’re all about.